Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Onion Butter

makes 8 kaiser rolls, 16 dinner rolls, or 1 large Italian loaf, or 2 12-ounce baguettes


For the Sandwiches:

  • 8 large or 16 small rolls
  • 1/2 pound ham (deli ham, leftover ham, chopped ham, whatever)
  • 1/2 pound cheese, any that melts well (American, Swiss, Muenster, etc)

For the Onion Butter:

  • 8 tablespoons salted butter (yes, salted)
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard (Dijon, spicy brown, grainy... ooooh)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


To Make the Onion Butter:

  1. Combine butter, onions, mustard, poppy seeds, and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and heat gently, just until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are well combined. 
  2. Cool to a spreadable consistency.  Refrigerate leftovers.

To make Sandwiches:

  1. Place bottom half of rolls cut side up on a sheet pan. 
  2. Spread 1/2 the onion butter evenly onto the halves
  3. Top with 1/2 the cheese.
  4. Add all the ham.
  5. Add remaining cheese.
  6. Finish with the rest of the onion butter. 
  7. Place top half of rolls on sandwiches.
  8. Cover pan tightly with foil and heat in a 300F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the sandwiches are heated through and the cheese melts.


  • Sandwiches can be assembled up to 2 days in advance, but be sure to store them in an airtight container to control the smell of raw onions in your fridge.
  • Sandwiches can also be wrapped in foil and placed in a slow cooker on high heat until cheese melts, about an hour.